The Truth

(Reuters/Landov)

What Is on the Island?

Lurking in the dark waters of Long Island Sound is a mysterious place known as Plum Island. Just ten miles off the coast of Connecticut, this tiny speck of land has long been rumored to be the epicenter of top-secret biowarfare research. The U.S. government acknowledges that the island is home to a scientific facility. Its stated purpose is to study animal-borne diseases. But investigators are beginning to uncover startling new facts about this forbidding place. Insiders and ex-employees have come forward to tell their stories. From security breaches in germ labs, to escaped diseases and potential mass epidemics, this is the real Plum Island story.
But the government denies anything is wrong.
Plum Island’s Secret Past
Although the origins of Plum Island are shrouded in secrecy, investigations have revealed the startling fact that, in the 1950s, the lab was run by a German scientist named Erich Traub, who was brought to America after the Second World War. His specialty in the Third Reich was virus and vaccine research. Along with rocket scientists like Werner von Braun, Traub was spirited out of post-war Germany to help jump-start the Cold War against the Soviet Union. The well-documented U.S. government project to recruit German scientists and technicians was known as Operation Paperclip. President Truman approved the project, so long as only nominal Nazi party members without SS affiliation were recruited. However, because the Nazi party promoted so many of its top scientists, Operation Paperclip ended up white-washing the pasts of many of its recruits in order to get them into the U.S.
Traub’s particular expertise was in disease-carrying insects—in particular, the common tick. Ticks are often carried aloft by birds, and can therefore quickly spread over large swaths of territory. Called “vectors,” ticks and mosquitoes are also genetically similar. Both contain bacteriophages or plasmids that transfer genetic material into a cell, or from one bacterium to another. In other words, they can infect whatever host animal with which they come in contact. Multiply this by millions, and ticks become the perfect insect army.
Plum Island (Reuters)During the Cold War, both the Soviets and Americans searched for ways to cripple each other, short of a doomsday nuclear attack. One idea was to destroy Russia’s food supply. This is where Traub’s tick army came into play. If the bugs could be injected with lethal pathogens, and somehow released over the Soviet Union, we could literally starve our mortal enemy to death. It’s well documented that Traub was using Plum Island for this research.
In November 1957, U.S. military intelligence explored the elimination of the food supply of the Sino-Soviet bloc, right down to determining the calories required for victory:

In order to have a crippling effect on the economy of the USSR, the food and animal crop resources of the USSR would have to be damaged within a single growing season to the extent necessary to reduce the present average daily caloric intake from 2,800 calories to 1,400 calories; i.e., the starvation level. Reduction of food resources to this level, if maintained for twelve months, would produce 20 percent fatalities, and would decrease manual labor performance by 95 percent and clerical and light labor performance by 80 percent.

Attempts to obtain records about Traub’s past, and his possible connection to Third Reich war crimes, have been regularly rebuffed by Army Intelligence and the CIA. Traub died in Germany at the age of 78.

The Lyme Disease Connection

Traub regularly experimented with injecting dangerous pathogens into insects. The Joint Chiefs of Staff authorized this and similar research in 1952. Dusty files labeled “Tick Research” in the National Archives revealed this quote:

“Vigorous, well-planned, large-scale [biological warfare] test, with results to the secretary of defense. Steps should be taken to make certain adequate facilities are available, including those at Fort Detrick, Dugway Proving Ground, Fort Terry (Plum Island) and an island field testing area.”

In November 1957, the Joint Chiefs also advised that “‘research on anti-animal agent-munition combinations should continue, as well as field testing of anti-food agent munition combinations'”
In the mid-1970s, a mysterious disease broke out in the area around the town of Old Lyme, CT. This severely debilitating syndrome was given the name Lyme disease. At first, doctors were mystified as to why the disease was clustered around this particular town. To this day, some medical authorities question whether the disease isn’t partly psychosomatic.
But its victims know differently.
Lyme disease is marked by powerful fatigue, muscle aches, inability to focus and, in some cases, almost total incapacity. After cases mushroomed throughout the Northeast, it was finally investigated seriously. Health researchers determined that Lyme disease had only one cause: deer ticks.
In the 80s, scientists were able to isolate the infectious bacteria carried by the ticks. It was named Borellia burgdorferi, after the Austrian biochemist who made the initial breakthrough. Modern gene-sequencing techniques cracked the code of borellia; in fact, it was only the third microbial gene ever sequenced (after influenza and a rare form of genital herpes).   [Watch Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura on truTV]
When the data came in, it rocked the scientific world.
Borellia burgdorfieri turned out to be the single most complex bacterium known to man. Nothing like it had ever been seen before. As time went on, other subsidiary diseases were discovered to go hand in hand with Lyme. These include chronic schizophrenia, psychosis, severe osteoarthritis, lupus, bladder problems, bipolar delusions, vertigo, encephalitis, infection of the brain stem and many others. Some researchers believe that multiple sclerosis is also a cofactor of Lyme.
This leads us back to Erich Traub, the German scientist who participated in research at Plum Island.
Once they had the genetic footprint of the Lyme disease germ, researchers began to comb through disease cluster histories. It didn’t make sense that Lyme would suddenly emerge, seemingly out of nowhere, in one town in rural Connecticut. Some of these investigators believe they found traces of borrelia in preserved insect and animal samples taken from nearby Shelter Island, as well as Long Island. The samples dated from the late 1940s to the early 1950s—the timeframe in which Erich Traub was infecting ticks on Plum Island.

Building 257’s Super Secret Research

A local television reporter named Karl Grossman took up the cause of Lyme disease victims. He discovered that more than 140 species of birds frequent and nest on Plum Island. Suspicion then fell heavily on one particular building on the island—the ominous and supposedly super-secure Building 257.
A maintenance worker on the island named James McKoy repeatedly complained about shoddy security at Building 257and was summarily fired for his trouble. Tom Ridge, then head of Homeland Security, the agency ultimately responsible for operations at Plum Island, refused to comment on the firing even when the firing was personally questioned by Senator Clinton. McKoy told an alarming tale about a cold December day in 2002. The power in the labs failed, and the emergency generators were unable to pick up the load. For four hours, workers were frantically trying to seal the doors of Building 257 with duct tape, which is good for a lot of things, but not stopping microscopic particles.
And there are other stories like Jim McKoy’s.
But something happened that was even more bizarre.
Monsters and Mutants
Drawing of human body with elongated fingers
that washed up on Long Island (truTV)
One sunny day in the summer of 2008, vacationers in Montauk, Long Island, ran screaming from the beach. Something unspeakable had washed ashore. At first glance, it appeared to be the carcass of large animal—but what kind? The dead beast emitted a sickening odor. Bloated and leathery, it had patches of coarse hair spread unevenly across its body. With its hideous elongated, almost dinosaur-like skull, and odd matchstick-shaped fingers, it looked like nothing anyone had ever seen before.
The beach where the monster was found is just 10 miles from Plum Island.
Local officials offered no explanation. Socialites in the ritzy Hamptons were thrown into a panic. Speculation immediately mounted that the creature was the result of an animal experiment gone horribly wrong. Official denials were quick to come from Plum Island, which was now operated by the Department of Homeland Security. But this monster wasn’t the only one.
In spring of 2009, a second hideous corpse came ashore at Montauk. This one was almost identical—same elongated skull, same weird claw-like fingers. Once again, local officials had no explanation. The carcass was quickly spirited away and, to anyone’s knowledge, was never examined by an independent zoologist.
And just when you think the story couldn’t get freakier, it did.
Police were called to Plum Island in January, 2010. A human body—a mutated human body—had been found by workers on the island. The official police report described “very elongated fingers.” The body had no identification. Moreover, five symmetrical holes had been drilled into its skull. At first, Suffolk County police said it was the body of a white man.
A day later, they changed their story and claimed it was a black man. To date, they have offered no explanation for the two conflicting reports, except to say it was an “oversight.”
Mutated corpses, hideous monsters, terrifying germ leaks, secret experiments? Could the stories about Plum Island get any more frightening?
What if they moved this dangerous research to the middle of America’s breadbasket?

Monsters in the Heartland

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that the island was slated for permanent closure. The germ labs and research facilities will move to Kansas State University—the epicenter of U.S. agriculture. Known as the “beef belt,” this swath of the Midwest contains huge herds of livestock.
One of the major contagions studied at Plum Island is the deadly hoof-and-mouth disease. In England and Europe, untold thousands of beef cattle were slaughtered and the carcasses burned when they were found to be infected with hoof-and-mouth. People on the ground in Kansas—among them professors at Kansas State—banded together to oppose the move. But so far, their protests have been futile. DHS seems determined to carry out its plan.
Congressman Tim Bishop represents the district that contains Plum Island. In repeated interviews, he has stated his satisfaction with the official explanations given about mishaps and safety violations at the lab. He claims to have been concerned at earlier times, but now believes security has been stepped up.
Others beg to differ.
Karl Grossman, the reporter who originally broke the Lyme disease story, says that shadowy terrorist figures have been caught with dossiers about Plum Island. Aafia Siddiqui is a Pakistani scientist who, at one time, was named one of the seven most wanted al-Qaeda fugitives. They called her “Lady al-Qaeda.” When captured in 2008, she was carrying handwritten documents about a “mass casualty attack” and a list of targets.  [Watch Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura on truTV]
At the top of that list was Plum Island.
Grossman points out that the island is still not heavily secured or guarded. Pleasure boats often come within hailing distance of the labs—including Building 257. As Grossman points out, it would be a relatively simple matter for terrorists on a rented boat to blow the place sky-high with a shoulder-fired Stinger missile. He says it terrifies him to speculate on the human devastation that would result from a mass release of pathogens. As he says, it keeps him up at night.

Unanswered Questions

Plum Island from the air (USDA)But the litany of official denials just keep coming. Dr. Roger Breeze was the director of the Plum Island research center in the 1990s. Breeze has given several interviews claiming that the island poses absolutely no danger to civilians, animals or the environment. However, a recent interview with Breeze revealed a startling slip of the tongue.
While trying to explain all the “good work” done at Plum Island, Breeze vehemently denied the existence of biowarfare research. He repeated the official line that only animal diseases are studied. He flatly denied that Lyme disease originated on the island. He even claimed to have no knowledge of German scientist Erich Traub. But  he did state that workers in the lab where hoof-and-mouth disease is studied actually inhale the virus in the course of a normal day. The deadly virus is trapped, according to the good doctor, in the back of the throat. Breeze then made the astonishing admission that there has always been a Plum Island rule that workers inside the lab cannot visit a zoo or circus or even a pet store.
None of these people have pets at home? After Breeze’s amazing revelation, are we actually supposed to believe that we are safe from Plum Island’s deadly germs?
One thing is sure: the terrifying stories about Plum Island aren’t going to disappear. The victims of Lyme disease demand answers. A skeptical public, used to government lies and cover-ups, demands answers. The people of Kansas demand answers. So stay tuned. Courageous researchers and scientists will keep digging. You haven’t heard the last of the mysterious place called Plum Island.